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SERM. manner, went their way, leaving hinn half xvu.
dead. Now it happened that as he lay in this deplorable state, there came down a certain Priest that way, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side ; and likewise a Levite, who, though as well as the Priest he was his countryman, yet when he came to the place he also only looked on him, and passed by on the other side: and thus the distressed creature might have lain and perished, but for a certain Samaritan, who happened, as he journeyed, to come where he was. And seeing him in this sad condition, though he might easily discover him to be a Jew, and therefore an enemy to his name and nation ; (for a bitter hatred subsisted between the Jews and the Samaritans) yet he had compassion on him, and going to him, bound
his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and then set him on his beast, conveyed him to an inn, and took care of him; and before he departed the next morning, carried his care and tenderness so far as to leave money with his host to secure his attention also, when he himself was gone, and promised
more if the necessity of the case should re- SERM. quire it. In this manner did our blessed XVII. Lord reply to the lawyer's question, which he knew he would now be able to answer for himself, for he had given him a case to judge of, detached from his own prejudices, and which he could draw but one general conclusion from. “ Which now of these “ three thinkest thou was neighbour unto “ him that fell among thieves?" The lawyer, forgetful perhaps how he must condemn himself by the reply, immediately answered, “ He that shewed mercy on him.” Then,” said Jesus, go
and do thou like“ wise!”_Stand corrected and instructed by the story I have told you—no longer think to confine your compassion, your charity, and neighbourly offices to your own nation only, but consider the humane Samaritan, who, when he saw a Jew in distress, laid aside his animosity, treated him as a fellow-creature, bound up his wounds, and took care of him.
Thus it is that we should endeavour to get a view of the duties we owe to one
SERM. another; we must all be aware how often XVII.
passion, prejudice, and partiality are liable to hide from us the open path we should pursue. For some petty interest or other, we may neglect to bind up the wounds of those we know to be in trouble. We think they fell by their own fault, and so should be left to abide by the consequence.
We regard them perhaps with an eye of scorn rather than pity, and looking more to our own concerns, pass by on the other side. I do not mean to represent uncharitableness as a predominant vice; in the common acceptation of the term, I believe it is far from being the case ; but in considering every individual as our neighbour, we should seek always “ to do unto others as “ we would they should do unto us.” Now this great duty is not confined to the pouring in oil and wine into their bodily wounds, but should be held to extend to the saving them from every possible injury or injustice, not only that the hand might inflict, but that the heart might conceive, or the tongue utter. Every circumstance that disposes us to be more regardless of other
people's people's feelings than our own, should re- SERM. mind us of the parable in the Gospel. xvii. Trusting in the sufficiency of our own virtue, we may be often too hard upon the failings of others. In this we are represented by the narrow-minded Jew, who thought no indulgence was to be extended beyond the circle of his own tribe and country. Perhaps we know of many who have fallen into temptations, and are labouring under consciences sore wounded, who, with tender and considerate care, wholesome and good advice, might be brought back to the paths of virtue, and restored to peace of mind. If we go not out of our way at all to render assistance to these fallen fellow-creatures, we are represented by the cold-hearted and heedless priest, who passed by on the other side to avoid the sight of a disgusting object, and the trouble of binding up his wounds. Perhaps instead of helping to raise those that are fallen, and to speak peace to the broken-hearted, through some disgraceful motive of envy, pride, malice, or revenge, we propagate the slanderous tale,
SERM. we triumph over their disgrace, we drive XVII. them further and further from us, by scorn
ful and opprobrious speeches; we are then represented by the merciless Levite, who could turn aside to look at the
poor wounded man, but withheld all help and assistance.
But if, in our commerce with the world, we cast an indulgent eye on the rest of mankind; and if we see a fellowcreature of any description whatsoever, poor or rich, godly or ungodly, old or young, countryman or stranger, fallen into trouble or distress of mind; worn down by misfortune, or oppressed with shame; in want of money, or in want of friends; if, in our journey through life, we happen to come where such are, and administer to their several necessities, having indiscriminately compassion on all; binding up their wounds, bodily or spiritual ; pouring in “ oil and wine," or consolation and comfort; using every endeavour to raise them from their deplorable condition, and cheerfully performing every beneficent and friendly office towards them; then shall we stand represented by the Good Sama